Aliud in Sicilia? Cultural development in Rome's first Province

Perkins, Philip (2007). Aliud in Sicilia? Cultural development in Rome's first Province. In: Van Dommelen, P. and Terranato, N. eds. Articulating Local Cultures: Power and identity under the expanding Roman Republic. International Roman Archaeology Conference Series, Journal of (63). Rhode Island, USA: Journal of Roman Archaeology, pp. 33–53.



This chapter will consider processes of transformation in the interior of north-western Sicily during the republican and early imperial periods. This area experienced a variety cultural influences during the first Millennium BC: indigenous Elymian, Punic, Greek and finally Roman hegemony. Using the evidence recovered by the Monreale Survey, the paper will explore local identity and trace social, economic and cultural changes subsequent to the creation of the first Roman province.
In this area there is no evidence in the republican period for the typical means of establishing Roman hegemony – coloniae and land assignations. Evidence from the city at Monte Iato indicates a combination of local and Roman influences. Initially the city appeared to have flourished under Roman hegemony. Changing patterns of economic contact identified in the Monreale Survey finds suggest that the area was closely integrated with the Republican economy and highlight the pivotal role played by Campania in the development of Republican hegemony in the Tyrhennian area. However, by the 1st century AD the traditional, urban settlement pattern had been disrupted and inhabitants of the area effectively led an non-urban life. This history of de-urbanisation will be investigated with reference to changes in the rural settlement pattern and economy as Rome expanded to become the dominant political force in the Mediterranean.

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